Tue, Aug 21, 2007 - Page 14 News List

World's oldest person sprightly until the end 世界最高齡人瑞揮手人世

Yone Minagawa receives the certificate for being the world`s oldest person by the Guinness Book of World Records in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, July, 2007. 今年七月日本福岡縣的曾川瑤子,以全球最高齡的人瑞,領取金氏世界紀錄認證。

PHOTO: AP

Yone Minagawa, who has died at age 114, was as sprightly as ever until the moment she got into bed for her eternal rest, her caretaker said.

Minagawa, who enjoyed good food and a bit of alcohol, died Monday at a nursing home in Japan's southwestern Fukuoka prefecture.

"She was sprightly until a day before," the caretaker said. "When I found her, she looked as if she was sleeping peacefully."

Born on Jan. 4, 1893, Minagawa was widowed at an early age. She raised her five children by selling flowers and vegetables in a coal mining town.

Stout-hearted even after age 100, Minagawa would drink some Japanese sake or other alcoholic beverage every day.

But in recent years, her favourite treat became manju, a Japanese confection made of red bean paste.

"She would tell me, 'arigato, thank you,'" saying the phrase both in Japanese and English, the caretaker said. "That was her habit."

"She was very charming," said the caretaker, who declined to give her name.

Despite her advanced age, Minagawa was said to enjoy eating sweets and counted eating well and getting a good night's sleep as the secrets of her longevity.

Her reign as the world's oldest person lasted just over six months.

The next to become the world's oldest person is set to be an American woman, according to the International Committee on Supercentenarians, a US-based group which documents longevity records.

According to the group, Edna Parker of Indiana, USA is also 114, having been born on April 20, 1893.(AFP)

世界最高齡人瑞皆川老太太辭世,享年一百一十四歲。照顧她的工作人員說,她一直到長眠前仍是精神奕奕。

皆川老太太於週一晚上在日本西南部福岡縣的一間療養院逝世,生前她喜歡享受美食和小酌一番。

工作人員說:「她直到前一天都還是精神奕奕。」「當我發現時,她看起來很安祥地在睡覺。」

皆川老太太生於西元一八九三年,一月四日,早年喪夫,靠在煤礦鎮賣花和蔬菜,獨自扶養她五個孩子。

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Paul: Do you know my great-grandfather is the oldest person in the world?

Peter: You've got to be joking. You never mentioned this before!

Paul: That's because it wasn't true until now! The last oldest person only passed away a few days ago.

Peter: Well that makes sense. Still, it seems hard to believe.

Paul: If you think you're surprised, you should have my great-grandpa's reaction!

保羅:你知道我曾祖父是世界上最老的人嗎?

彼得:你一定在開玩笑,你從來沒有提起過!

保羅:那是因為之前都不是呀!幾天前世界上最老的人瑞才剛過世。

彼得:喔,了解。不過還是很難相信。

保羅:如果你覺得很驚訝的話,你應該看看我曾祖父的反應!

passed away 過世

Saying someone has passed away is a way to avoid saying he or she has died. You could also say someone is no longer with us or in a better place.

「passed away」是表示死去的委婉用語。你也可以用「no longer with us」或「in a better place」來形容已經不在人世的人。


皆川老太太即使年過百歲,還是非常大膽,每天會喝一些日本清酒和酒精飲料。

但在最近這幾年,紅豆沙包成為她最喜歡的甜食。 

「她會用英文和日文跟我說『謝謝 。』工作人員說。「這是她的習慣。」

「她非常的迷人。」一位不願具名的工作人員說。

雖然皆川老太太非常長壽,不過據說她生前嗜愛甜食,並且認為吃得好和睡得好是她長壽的秘訣。

她世界最年長人瑞的頭銜保持了超過半年之久。

根據美國國際超級人瑞組織,目前世界最長壽人瑞的第一順位是美國印第安那州一位名叫艾德納˙帕克的老嫗,現年一百一十四歲,生於一八九三年四月二十日。(翻譯:楊鴻泰)

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